Abadi over Kurdistan, it seems. Hoshyar Zebari, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and member of the Kurdistan Referendum High Council has said the United States has asked the Kurdistan Region to postpone the referendum on independence scheduled for Sep. 25 to help Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to secure a second term in office. The senior Kurdish official said the KRG has told the United States that the date of the referendum will not change. Washington’s main concern regarding the referendum is the timing, claiming it may distract the fight against the Islamic State. Iraq is scheduled to have general elections in Spring 2018.

Thanks but no thanks, says the US-led international coalition as they announced the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have the situation in Raqqa “locked down and fully under control,” adding it does not need the help of the Syrian army to drive ISIS out of its self-declared capital. The coalition spokesperson said the forces did not need any help … not from the Syrian regime and that they did not want any help either. After two months into the Raqqa offensive 50 percent of the city is under SDF control.

Lastly, drivers of vehicles with European plates and no documents pay attention! You now have to be registered with Iraqi plates starting early August after paying set fees. The Erbil Traffic Department’s decision applies for all vehicle models manufactured after the year 2000 and says proper plating of vehicles allows police and security officials to monitor driving and enforce traffic laws. The registration process will start from August 2 and go until August 12.